Childrens Riding Lessons
Outside Accommodation

Welcome to the Island Riding Centre

The Island Riding Centre equestrian centre opened in July 2017 on the Isle of Wight. We are a fully insured, council-licensed equestrian centre based on the Isle of Wight (a couple of miles off the southern coast of England), and are members of the Association of British Riding Schools.

Owners Paul and Louise moved to the Island in 2014. Paul’s grandmother grew up on the Isle of Wight and the family connections still remain. His parents retired to Ryde 15 years ago and when Paul and Louise’s own children were born 11 years ago they bought their first holiday home here before making the move permanent. Keen to reduce trips back to the mainland they started looking at business opportunities that would combine Paul’s property background, Louise’s love of animals and the best of what the Island has to offer residents and visitors.

The Isle of Wight has a strong tradition in horse riding but when the much loved Brickfields Horse Country closed its doors in 2013 it marked the end of an era having been the premier Isle of Wight horse riding centre for over 30 years. Picking up from where Brickfields left off they decided on an equestrian complex combined with self-catering holiday accommodation, which would cater for everyone, including those with disabilities and still be sustainable. In 2015 when the farm on Staplers Road came up at auction, it was the right location with potential for expanding into what will be a unique riding and holiday destination on the Isle of Wight and so the Island Riding Centre concept was born.

The centre is for everyone, young and old, those with limited physical abilities, novice riders to experts and we hope it will not only provide recreational fun, but also help development and – who knows – find the potential riding stars for the future!

We look forward to welcoming you!

Signatures

Meet the Team

Our dedicated team are on hand to look after all your equine needs whether it be livery services, tuition, guidance or support.
All our members of staff are first aid qualified and DBS checked, and our instructors are fully qualified.

We look forward to working with you!

Kirsty Snodgrass

Kirsty Snodgrass

General Manager / Senior Instructor

"I’ve been riding since the age of 2 when I apparently started shouted ‘pony’ repeatedly at my parents! None of my family were horsey but they duly palmed me off on a riding school and as I grew up I spent any spare time I could at the riding school learning to ride and care for ponies.

As I got older I borrowed ponies (mostly awful ones) for shows and pony club events and at 14 I met a pony called Minni who was just amazing and my best Pony Club memories and competition memories are with her 🙂

Once I left school I worked on professional yards gaining my equine qualifications and finally bought my own horse at the age of 24! I still have her as well as 6 others.

Over the years I have worked on Stud Farms, Livery yards, Competition yards and Riding Schools. This has given me a broad range of skills and experience and a cracking sense of humour.

I am the very proud DC of the Isle of Wight Pony Club Branch and am now looking forward to the new challenge of an equestrian centre."

Kate Cockle

Pony Club Centre Lead / Island Riding Centre Instructor

"I started riding at quite a late age of 12 when I joined my after school club for horse riding lessons with my older sister. Then I just couldn’t stay away! None of my family were ‘horsey’ so it came as quite a shock, but my mum and dad supported it completely as it got my sister and myself out in the fresh air and working hard! I volunteered all my spare time at my local riding stables , learning to care for and ride the ponies and horses.

When finishing school I went to Merrist Wood College and achieved my equine qualification at distinction with commendation.

From college I then travelled and also worked on various yards including an international dressage yard, showjumping and livery yard, evening and livery yard and a riding school and livery yard. I gained invaluable knowledge and skills within the industry.

From my knowledge and experience gained through the industry and owning my own horse from the age of 16, I then studied and became a fully qualified and insured BHS instructor.

Now, at the Island Riding Centre, I look forward to using my skills, knowledge and qualifications to help coach people and achieve their riding or stable management goals, whatever they may be! Learning to rising trot, getting over a course of jumps or even a gallop along the beach."

Childrens Riding Lessons

Sophie Benjamin

Instructor

Sophie spent much of her youth at Norris Castle which was a stud farm on the Island breeding New Forest Ponies where she was competing and training both their ponies and her own.

She enjoyed her time with the Isle of Wight Pony Club and began to teach informally as she got older.

Eventually she was encouraged (some may say coerced!) to make it official and train for her BHS exams as it was clear she had a talent for putting people at their ease and teaching all ages. Sophie passed of course!

Gayle Jackson

Gayle Jackson

Yard Administrator

"I started riding age 10 by backing a Shetland pony and survived to tell the tale, so I’ve been riding for 17 years now!

Over the years I’ve gained experience in breaking in and retraining problem horses, Retraining a couple of ex racehorses and have worked on yards here in the UK and a yard in Sydney.

I have been involved with the Pony Club for 2 years and outside of the horses I have a first class accounting and finance degree so I’m in charge of the money bit, making sure that things run smoothly and Kirsty doesn’t buy TOO many shiny things!"

Meet the horses and ponies

At Island Riding Centre, we have an interesting mix of horses and ponies, old and young, big and small.
Learn more about each of them below to find the perfect horse or pony for you.

They look forward to meeting you!

Alfie

Alfie

11HH / Dartmoor X / 12 years old / Black

Alfie is our mini tank of the yard, he’s only small but he’s very strong – this is great for the fact that as well as being super at being ridden, he also loves to be driven as well. We do have his cart and occasionally take him out as he really enjoys his time in the trap.

Twix

Twix

14.2HH / Cob / 6 years old / Skewbald

Twix is our gorgeous girlie of the yard, she really is stunning. Alongside her lovely looks is also her talented movement, she should really spend her time in the show ring. She can be a little nervous of people to start with but we think as she grows older she will be our superstar of the yard. Twix and Ollie travelled over together and you will often hear them call to one another and stand side by side in the field.

JJ

JJ

14HH / Cob / 6 years old / Skewbald

JJ is our super fun allrounder cob. Although he looks like he may be chunky and not go very fast – don’t be fooled. If JJ wasn’t in our riding school then I’m sure you would find him out on the hunting field at the front jumping everything. He won’t do anything naughty but is known for being quite strong – especially when it comes to jumping as this is definitely his absolute favourite thing to do.

GG

GG

10HH / Welsh Section A / 6 years old / Bay

GG (aka Greedy Guts) quickly steals the hearts of our riders, she may be small but she loves being ridden and enjoying a jump. If you look closely you can notice her one blue eye aswell. She can be known for being a cheeky monkey whilst walking to and from the field as she may not look strong but if she sees nice green grass then she will be taking you for a walk so she can get to it.

Focus

Focus

14.1HH / Welsh X Warmblood
14 years old / Bay

Focus is definitely the biggest character on the yard – he will be used for the more experienced riders and for riders wanting to learn how to jump a bigger fence. Jumping really is Focus’s forte, this is what he was bred to do and he is amazing to watch. Under his lovely looks and his big personality he is a real sweetie though and loves having a fuss made of him.

Crispin

Crispin

13HH / Welsh Section B / 12 years old / Grey

Crispin is great at looking after his riders, but be careful as he is very good at tricking his riders into thinking he is having a wee and happily stand still taking his time. This is his favourite party trick. You may also need to watch your fingers with crispin as he will very easily mistake your fingers for treats and may give them a nibble!

Charlie

Charlie

11HH / Mini Cob X / 6 years old / Tri-coloured

Charlie is our cheeky chappy of the yard. He loves going for little hacks and really looks after his little riders. He is great for confidence as he is a very quiet little guy. He loves his long mane being brushed and having a really good groom. I’m sure he would tell us his favourite part of the day is going back out into the field with all his friends.

Bluebell

Bluebell

13.2HH / Cob / 5 years old / Blue Roan

Bluebell has quickly become a real favourite of the yard. With her gorgeous looks and an amazing temperament to match, there is nothing you can dislike about her! She looks after every rider she has on her back, whether you are a complete novice or more advanced, she just changes to suit everyone!

Lady

Lady

12HH / Dartmoor / 11 years old / Dapple Grey

Lady is our little lady on the yard with a big movement. Her trot is massive for such a little pony although she is not your average looking Dartmoor we still think she is gorgeous. She loves being made a fuss of and enjoying her grooming time!

Magnus

Magnus

Magnus is a beautiful gentle giant! At 17.2hh he can look imposing but he is very relaxed (some might say lazy) but he knows his stuff and can kick it up a gear when required!

Charlie Boy

Charlie Boy

Charlie Boy is the kindest, sweetest little pony. He’s a 13.1hh, 8 year old traditional Cob and under all that mane, tail and feather is a heart of gold.

Rupert

Rupert

Rupert is a bit of a silver fox nowadays, he loves children and as a 12.2hh riding pony is just perfect for them!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a 15.2hh Anglo Arab, he’s 15 years old and has done a bit of everything and he does it rather well! He scrubs up well and is already a firm favourite.

Harmony

Harmony

Harmony is a 12.2 Welsh Pony, and a bit of a princess! She loves the be centre of attention and does throw the odd tantrum if she doesn’t get her own way! She’s lovable with it though and is popular with the children.

Louis

Louis

Louis is not just gorgeous, he’s a very talented young man at 9 years old. He is bred from show jumpers but his dressage is rather good too. He’s a good horse for an experienced rider who’s looking to understand what a ‘feel’ is.